During winter time, it is notoriously difficult to get the punters in. As the days draw shorter and the air gets colder, most people want to wrap up warm in their homes and fight against the outdoors. However, the arrival of summer brings with it a desire to get outdoors and make the most of our fleeting British sunshine.
Starting from the outdoors, at Boost Capital, we would recommend focusing on your Kerb Appeal: outdoor features that could bring the punters in. Try sprucing up the pavement surrounding your entrance – perhaps invest in some hanging baskets or decorative plant pots; it will make for a far more inviting welcome than a cracked pavement.
Customers also respond well to pub chalk boards, offering an establishment the opportunity to demonstrate some personality and, potentially, invite customers to share their humorous musings on social media. For a little inspiration take a look at the following article, which has some really innovative and humorous ideas. Our favourite: ‘Free air guitar with every pint’, or on a slightly darker note, ‘soup of the day: the tears of our enemies’.
Keeping on the theme of exteriors, having a specifically designated outdoor area could well prove to be an enticing space during the summer months. Giving it a name like Rooftop Bar or Beer Garden also adds some significant value – particularly if you tap into the growing craft beer scene and invest in some local, British beer. Alternatively, if you are aiming at a slightly different demographic invest in an outdoor viewing area. There are plenty of sports events taking place during the summer months and offering your customers some sun, drink and an unrestricted view could make your pub the place to be during Wimbledon or the EUROs. If you have particularly generous neighbours you could even host a karaoke night, though we would advise checking if a permit is required as it could be that you are severely restricted by the local council (particularly later in the evening.)
During the summer, there is a variety of wonderful, fresh produce grown in the British countryside. As healthy, natural eating is becoming integrated into our dining culture try and team up with local farmers. By offering food that is locally sourced and can provide a narrative to adorn the back of your menus, you will not only offer your guests a delicious meal, but one that helps them contribute to the planet.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with teaming up with other, local bars and organising a pub crawl. Offering incentives like discount rates for participants could encourage new customers to your bar and create some real buzz in the local community. Similarly, it could well be worth teaming up with some local attractions and offering complementary discounts. Certainly, it is a move that worked to great effect with Starbucks and Benefit earlier this year.
As we’ve stated before, we’re optimistic about where the pub industry is heading. That’s why we provide funding to UK pubs and SMEs, so that they can take advantage of growth opportunities and be well positioned to handle any uncertainties that may lie ahead.